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Ethics & Morality

The Acceptance of Group Mentality

The decisions a group accepts as a whole is not always reflective of the individual conscience of each member. Teenagers will often ‘go with the crowd’ regardless of their true feelings because the enormous pressure to be part of a group is overwhelming. As human beings, we are wired to connect socially and those that stand alone often suffer from psychological issues such as depression or anxiety due to isolation.

Groupthink occurs...
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Family

Pleasure from Someone Else’s Pain

When I hear a word not commonly used in my vernacular twice in a period of a few days, I know I need not wait for a third time to explore the concept.

Schadenfreude (pronounced ‘shade n froid’) which comes from German and originates from the words ‘harm’ and ‘joy. It is defined as, “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” Chances are, you know someone who indulges in this practice, or perhaps, you do so yourself. It may seem like human nature to wish ill will on someone who wreaks havoc or does harm to others. As much as I am aware that cause and effect ultimately occurs, I take a page from those I know who practice the religion of Wicca as they don’t believe in casting negative spells since they hold firmly to the idea that what they put out into the world, returns 10-fold. Better not to evoke bad karma.
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Minding the Media

A Twitter Diagnosis

Hypothetical tweet from @DumpTrump: “Did you see the latest Trump meltdown? How did we elect such a megalomania? No question, the guy is mentally ill.”

In a snarkily filled tweet (or, let’s say, a snarkily written 500-word column), we impugn the President’s mental stability. And we -- composing that latest Facebook missive or Twitter soundbite -- are not alone. From CNN to Washington Post, armchair commentators have diagnosed Trump with a buffet of mental health issues. “He is narcissistic,” the commentators scream. “No, he isn’t narcissistic; the problem is his inability to control his impulsive tendencies,” another talking head bloviates. “No, it isn’t his impulsiveness; the real problem is his bullying, disparaging treatment of, well, anyone,” the latest scribe sneers.  
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Bullying

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught: How to Explain Hatred to Your Children

With world events occurring at lightning/frightening speed, adults who may be bewildered themselves, may feel at a loss to answer the questions their young ones may have about topics they see broadcast on television or hear about on the school bus. In the wake of the virulent rally in Charlottesville and those that have followed since, it is an even more important topic for parents to address. Children will ask questions and it is crucial for answers to be available and not brushed under the rug, as it might seem easier to do.
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Celebrities

Psychology Today Promotes Its Own Trump Fake News

No matter what your political view, it is disconcerting when we run across news online that is not factually correct. President Trump refers to such news stories as "fake news" -- but also includes in this category any news story he simply doesn't agree with.

Earlier this month, Psychology Today ran an article titled, "60,000 Psychologists Say Trump Has 'Serious Mental Illness'."

The problem with this headline? It wasn't true. But that didn't stop the editors at Psychology Today from publishing it on their web site for four consecutive days, before they were called out on the issue on Twitter for its inaccuracy.

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Anorexia

Increase Your Body Confidence: 3 Steps that You Can Practice Today


Americans spend billions of dollars on weight-loss and workout programs in order to try to achieve the “perfect body.” Advertisements promise confidence, improved self-esteem, impeccable health, and romance once the perfect body is achieved.

The myth that we are presented with is that we are just not trying hard enough if we aren't thin.  

The ads, and even our healthcare system, do not acknowledge the scientific evidence that body size and shape are under significant genetic control. Body composition is a lot more complex than simply calories-in and calories-out.   
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Bullying

13 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual assault which plague our society. What’s important is that the show has people talking, especially about the taboo subject of suicide and we’re overdue for this discussion.

There’s a stigma to suicide which is perpetuated by the silence surrounding it. We need to break this silence so those suffering will feel safe reaching out for help.
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General

Secret Documents: Facebook Appears to Put Features, Profit Above Users’ Safety

Facebook, the 13-year-old behemoth with 1.23 billion active users, generates over $8 billion per quarter in revenue -- $3 billion of that is net income (e.g., profit).

But with so many users, Facebook appears to have relegated user safety to a secondary concern. Until earlier this year, Facebook employed only 4,500 people to review content. Which sounds like a lot of people until you realize that those 1.23 billion active users are sharing billions of pieces of content every day, with millions of user complaints about Facebook content filed each and every day.

Does Facebook have a serious user safety problem on its hands? A just-published Guardian review of secret, internal documents suggests its problem is out of control.

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Celebrities

Is Suicide Contagion Real?

With the popularity of the Netflix hit teenage high school show, "13 Reasons Why," there's been debate among mental health care professionals and researchers as to whether an actual "suicide contagion" exists. Would such a contagion effect apply to something such as a fictional TV series?

Is suicide contagion a real thing? If so, is it really something we need to be concerned about as much in this day and age of instant entertainment and information available on the Internet, where people's graphic depictions of self-harm and suicide stories are always just a single click away for any teen to view as much as they'd like?

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